Mollies Fighting or Playing?
I have a quick question regarding my pair of mollies. I have a black and dalmation lyretail molly pair. The dalmation tends to follow closely behind the black one which causes the black one to speed off from time to time. Today during feeding the dalmation was not to thrilled with the black one by its food so it chased it for a second or two. The next four to five minutes was with the black molly behind the filter and the dalmation roaming about like nothing was different.
1. How can I tell if my molly is stressed.
2. Is this play or territorial type aggression.
3. How often should I feed them, could it be the result of them being extra hungry and thus defending the food.
Thanks for any insight I'm happy to answer question that may help with figuring this out, and if I should be concerned.
I don't know much about mollies, but if one is hiding behind the filter, it is likely stressed. Feeding once a day is sufficient. You should not feed more than your fish can consume in one minute, IMO.
How big is the tank? There are other factors that could lead to stress, and cause one to chase the other. . . such as water quality. Do you know what your water parameters are? Nitrates?
Sometimes, if one fish is sick, it can be picked on by others.
If you can offer hiding places for one to get away from the others line of sight, that may help. Such as a rock or plants etc.
Water Parameters since adding fish:
Ammonia: 0 - 0.25ppm (Down from being clearly 0.25 - 0.5 ppm)
Nitrite: 0 - 0.25ppm (Up from being clearly 0ppm)
Nitrate: 0ppm (Unchanged)
As for feeding I do that, I was recommended a little longer but am just feeding once a day for a short amount of time. This morning they were all up against each other curious as ever. And when I go to test the water they go crazy and spin around the tubes I draw the water out of, and then when I'm done go back to floating about the tank.
Just something I noticed that happens when I feed them. Although the tubes is a similar process (open hood, something goes into the water (Hand and tube)) there is no aggression, just excitement. I think they like their water tested ;). But the absence of food seems to avoid any aggression, maybe even dominance.
Is there any way I can tell whether I have x2 Male, x2 Female, or x1/x1 Male/Female? I have pictures of the fish up in my profile/my tank thing here, but cannot quite clearly define what I have exactly.
Any other info would be great. I have a range of short, and high plants since I have read Mollies like free space to swim. This provides line of sight distractions, but I may need another rock or other place with an arch?
Fish are "piggies" they seem to love to eat! :lol: At least that is a good sign.
black one is a female, I think. can't tell on the dalmation. If the spotted one is the chaser it is probably the male. You could add another female, to lessen the pressure on the black one. Don't add too many in that small of a tank. Definitely not any more males.
Welcome to the forum!
I looked at your tank pictures and you have one male (dalmation) and one female (black)mollies. You can tell by their big Dorsal fins and their long fin near their anus. Females have short dorsal fins and no long find near the anus (which is like a penis for the males). They are currently establishing a pecking order where one will establish dominance over another one.
On the black one its really hard to tell and honestly it almost looks like a male. I would have said it was male but the dorsal fin looks so small and I don't see the long fin near the anal.
How long has this tank been set up?
If not longer than a few weeks than I think your tank is still cycling. Adding some real plants will help things calm down and keep you fish happier. I would try adding some Java Fern. Low Light Great plant. Don't bury. Tie it to something.
You want to make sure all the food is eaten within about 5 minutes. That is what I usually go by because my fish like to take a second to eat their food.
I would not recommend you adding any more fish to this tank. These fish should be in at least a 20 gallon tank but you should be fine for now. Ideally you would want to separate the two because they will breed and you will be over populated. If you still can, take the female back and you can then get another type of fish.
You could always get another tank.
The male will chase the female around 40% of the day trying to mate with her, the female can store sperm for months allowing them to give birth numerous times. Live bearers can overwhelm you quite quickly.
So they activity has not entirely changed, typically the black one hides from the dalmation. My LFS suggested to have another female placed in the tank, so I will be adding one more so the time is split between the two. I have a concern though if the black molly is in fact a male, my ratio will be x2 Male and x1 Female. How will this go over?
These mollies should be kept in at LEAST a 20 gallon tank.
You should not get another one. You should get another tank at least 20-29 gallons.
Mollies should be kept with a 2-to-1 female to male ratio. 2 females for every 1 male. Also, ten gallons is too small for Molly fish. 10 gallons is ok for a small group of neons or guppies (or a single Betta), but not Molly and Platy. 20 gallons is the smallest I would keep adult Molly and Platy in. They need room to be healthy. More room and more places to hid will also relief a ton of stress for them.
A male will harass a female to death when he has "that lovin' feeling", so offset that with another female Molly. He will spend time between the two (in theory) allowing for less stress on the females and less aggression from the male. But before doing that, I would get a larger tank.
I have 4 Molly females (two dalmatians lyretail, one black and one cremecycle lyretail). I have only one male (a white sailfin molly). The male almost stressed another molly (who was adopted by a friend) to death. He preferred that one specific female. To save her, I gave her to a friend (she is still alive and healthy to this day). I replaced her with a larger female of the same make and color (the cremecycle lyrtail). Now, all is well. He spends time trying to mate with all 4 ladies, which makes him happy and adds no stress to the females.
As far as feeding, I feed twice a day (3 times counting the midnight algae wafers for the Cory Cats and snail). I feed them tropical flakes in the morning (only what they eat in a minute). I feed them again at night, but only bloodworms (enough so each fish can get one each).
My suggestions: Get a bigger tank (at least 20 gallons). Add at least one more female (make sure she is as large, if not larger than the male). Feed only once or twice a day, and only as much as they will consume in a minute.
Hope that helps.
They reproduce fast and in great numbers and can overwhelm a tank community in no time.
I would advise to either get rid of the female or the male if you cannot get a 20 or 29 gallon tank. Check out Craigslist.
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